Radio 355 = Former Britain Radio ...

Announced wavelength: 355 metres... Location: On board motor vessel Laissez Faire, anchored in international waters off Walton on the Naze, Essex.

After the close of Britain Radio... Radio 355 commenced transmissions... The programmes were almost identical to that of Radio 390, but this was soon dropped in favour of a mid tempo format...

Picture: a few of the 355 DJ's

During the evening of 3 th July 1967 an SOS call was received by the coastguards at Walton... "We have a man on board who is threatening murder... he has already assaulted the Captain"... the radio operator added that he had locked himself in his shack... The lifeboat was alerted and the secretary said that he was prepared to launch if the police was prepared to go... The Clacton police chief, supt. William Docker decided it was outside his jurisdiction and refered the matter to the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, who in turn passed the matter on to the Defence Ministry in London... They decided to take no action at that time... but asked the coastguards to keep them informed of the situation...

 

Picture: the 355 transmitter room

A senior officer at Portsmouth said that a warship of any nation was entitled to put a party on board to restore order if the ship was in international waters... Captain Colin Lukenhurst from Sittingbourn later radioed, "I have told all my crew to lock themselves in their cabins for the night. The man is working himself up into a frenzy again. Unless I have some assistance from the shore we shall have a murder on board"... He added that he was unable to sail into Harwich as there was trouble with the engines... In the early hours of the next day, the tender Offshore Two, with a strong crew on board, went to the aid of the seventeen men on the radio ship... Two Dutch crewmen were taken ashore, paid off, and given tickets to Holland... On 2 nd August 1967 it was announced that the station would close at Midnight on the 5 th... The contract with the ship's owners ran out on that day and with the Marine Offences Act only two weeks away there was little point in renewing the contract... After final farewells from the DJs and the management ... Radio 355 closed down about fifteen minutes into 6 th August 1967... 355 close down.

On 19 th August 1967 the Laissez Faire sailed for Flushing for her mast to be removed... If this was in fact done is not clear... For she sailed for Miami on the 1 th September 1967 arriving there on the 22 nd with the mast broken and buckled... This damage it was claimed was sustained while passing through a hurricane !!!